Apple is currently in talks with Hollywood studios for early access to their movies and with this move the company is categorically aiming to better the iTunes offerings. As of now iTunes has carved a niche for itself in the music retailing industry but the things are not so rosy when it comes to video renting and streaming.
This piece of news falls in line with the confirmation from the 21 Century Fox, Time Warner, and Comcast Corp that they were indeed looking out for some high-priced home-video rentals of new movies as soon as they release in theaters. Apparently, studio executives are ready to allow home rentals with an access as early as two weeks post the theatrical release. Bloomberg spoke with its sources who are closely tied up with this project and they replied with an affirmative that a deal with iTunes is an option.
Needless to say, such a unique offering will bolster iTunes position in the industry and it is quite possible that this might turn out to be the iTunes USP, just like how Netflix Originals is to Netflix. That said the options are still open for the studios and they might also choose to go with some other platform as well. As of now this is how it works, Hollywood studios give out exclusive rights to the theaters for 90 days, this means that for 90 days from the theatrical debut the movie cannot be screened anywhere else other than the theater itself.
Movie theater chains are looking out for new avenues of growth as the revenue has currently reached a state of stagnation, also the share prices of major theater chains including AMC Entertainment Holdings and Regal Entertainment group has been dropping recently. A move like this is also expected to bring down privacy, provided that the rentals are priced reasonably. On the contrary, some of the theater chains have been adamant about the move and have earlier boycotted films that were released soon for home viewing. All said and done, it would be very difficult for the Studios to keep the theater chains out of the deal since they would be the one most afflicted by this.
This also leads us to deduce if iTunes is indeed a safe platform, despite the fact that Apple encrypts iTunes video files it is quite possible that one might capture their screens using a camcorder or even screen recording tools. But again ‘Cam Rips’ are nothing new and it is a privacy that mainly takes place in theaters.
Sean Parker of the Napster fame is also readying a new home-video service called the Screening Room, which would allow its users to watch the movie on the same day as the theatrical debut. Apple has been trying to fortify their offerings when it comes to video and as result will be launching a new app called TV, which will serve as a content aggregator for users to watch shows and movies from the different app, something similar to the Google Home app paired with a Chromecast.
The whole idea of bringing the new movies from theaters to your living room is revolutionary and once this picks traction it might wipe out the entire film distribution chain and the revenue associated with the screening of the movies. While this is something that might now happen immediately the possibility has to be entertained.